Shiv Sena’s (UBT) protest against BMC’s alleged $53 billion scam


In light of the allegations surrounding a Rs. 4000 crore ($53 billion) COVID-related scam, leaders of the Shiv Sena party led by Uddhav Thackeray are set to launch a mass protest on 1st July. The action is being taken before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated its investigation into the matter, putting pressure on Maharashtra’s Shinde government.
Aditya Thackeray, the leader of the protest, hopes to gather thousands of supporters for the movement. They aim to speak against the widespread corruption in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC). Prior to the protest, the leaders met with Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar and Special Commissioner Deven Bharati to discuss security measures and seek permission for the protest route, which was granted with minor modifications.
The protest reportedly centres around Eknath Shinde’s alleged involvement in a Rs. 12000 crore scam within the BMC. The protesters aim to voice their opposition to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) created to investigate the scam.
Only a week ago, the ED initiated an investigation that included raids and interrogations at the residence of Suraj Chavan, a close associate of Shiv Sena secretary Aditya Thackeray. Meanwhile, Sanjay Raut, another Shiv Sena leader, and his close friend Sujit Patkar are also under scrutiny. As the ED’s investigation progresses, Uddhav Thackeray and his group are feeling the pressure, particularly because the ED is seeking the mastermind behind the alleged COVID scam. There is a fear within Uddhav’s group that the investigation may potentially incriminate other members of their party. The Shinde government has appointed Mumbai Public Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar and Inspector General of Economic Offences Wing (EOW) Nishit Mishra to head the investigation, with a prompt report expected soon.
Uddhav, acting on the English saying, “The best defence is a good offence,” is preparing for this protest. This action comes at a time when their 24-year long control over the BMC appears to be weakening. The demonstration will take place in front of the BMC headquarters, located at VT.